Early last year, I was working on a simple, light-hearted mini-documentary about an eating challenge at a rural Texas honky tonk, when things got a little weird.
The Big Kahuna burger at Pancho & Lefty's weighs more than eight pounds, and when I first visited, the owners were offering $500 to the first man, woman or child who could put away the whole thing.
When I went back to film, I found the story had changed. A stranger, I was told, blew into town with a nice car and a dark pair of sunglasses. He said he was from Dallas. The mystery diner ordered the big burger and finished it in under three hours, washing it down with nine Dr. Peppers. He waited for the owner to drive home and get her checkbook for the prize money, but he refused to be photographed.
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With each return visit to the bar, I tried to learn more about the mysterious eater, but everyone spun the same story, peppered with the same few details. The only thing that changed was who said they were there on the day in question. I drove home each night along those dark farm roads, laden with more questions than ever before, and stinking of burger.
To this day, I'm not completely convinced he exists. An 8-pound burger's small potatoes to a top-ranked eater, but they're not allowed to compete in amateur contests like this. At length, the owners sent me a digital photo of the prize check, but I've got my doubts.
So with nowhere else to turn, no further breadcrumbs leading to my white whale, I'm throwing this video out there in one last, desperate shakedown, in case anyone out there's got a clue. After months of searching in vain, I'm hungry for some answers. -- Patrick Michels